I was recently invited by Boston-based online archive and performance project The Present Tense to publish three short pieces of performative writing in which I adopt a fictitious self who can travels through time to witness, through a leap of imagination, three participatory performances that I have never, and will never, see. These accounts are fictional, but based in rigorous research. The first piece, on Julie Tolentino's For You (2003), is up now at thepresenttense.org. Here's an excerpt:
As I enter the room, Tolentino lies on a bed, swathed in white sheeting. A small lamp casts a pool of pinkish light her feet. Next to the bed, a plastic chair. I flash momentarily to a hospital scene, a sick ward, a maternity ward. I smell the plastic of the curtain, the chair. Quietly, respectfully, I take the seat next to the bed. The seat of care, I think.
She lies with her back to me. She does not speak. She lies still, breathes, occasionally shifts or moves a bit, never leaving the bed, subtle adjustments, as if she’s listening to me, for several minutes. Eventually…
She performs. And it is for me.